Categories
Games

Masters of the Universe Barbarian Style

A long time ago in 1987 a game called Barbarian made it’s way to the popular computers of the time. It featured brawny characters fighting to the death to rescue the scantily clad princess (or some such nonsense, game stories didn’t make much sense back then).

It was a great game with memorable music, fluid graphics, gruesome bloody moves and a goblin that would kick the head of your decapitated foe off the side of the arena. The gameplay got boring with time of course but and it was probably more infamous for the cover photo than anything else..

Anyway, after the short history lesson, I discovered that Andrea Baldiraghi announced the release of a new Masters of the Universe game on pico8. It’s inspired by Barbarian as Andrea says on the game homepage.

It has your favourite Masters of the Universe characters and even a rendition of the theme toon. In my first fight I managed to chop the head off Skeletor but the second devolved into a bloody fight to the end when I exhausted my opponent.

It’s embedded above, give it a go. Press Z to attack, X to defend and use the cursor keys to move!

Categories
Ireland

How many cars are on the road?

If you go along to the Transport Infrastructure Ireland website right now you’ll find a map of Ireland with lots of green dots.

These are the locations of cameras recording the volume of traffic on the road. It’s been interesting looking at some of the roads around Cork during the last year. Here are a few charts of traffic on the N20 between Blarney and Cork.

In January traffic maxed out at 1200 vehicles a day in the early morning with a similar bump in the evening.
February was similar, with slightly less vehicles per day.

The Covid-19 Lockdown bit in March. Schools closed on March 12th, pubs closed soon after. Most people who could were working from home. It made a big difference to daily traffic into Cork. From a high of 1200 vehicles in January to 400 in April.

In March only 800 vehicles a day made the journey into Cork. The 2km rule was introduced.
April was worse. The number of vehicles halved. Only 400 vehicles made the journey.
There was a very slight increase in traffic in May to 500 vehicles a day.
June saw a return to March numbers. 800 vehicles a day.
July was similar. Slightly more than 800 vehicles a day.
August isn’t over yet but numbers are slightly down again to less than 800 vehicles a day. Schools return at the end of the month so that will probably make a small bump.

How does this compare to last year? Here are the charts for July and August 2019.

July 2019 when almost 2000 vehicles travelled the road between Blarney and Cork.
August 2019 when Irish people went abroad and the country was noticeably quieter. 1100 vehicles a day.

It’s interesting to see those charts. The lockdown caused a huge drop in traffic as expected. Emissions from cars were down this year of course but agriculture remained the same so our impact on the environment didn’t change much. It’ll probably be worse as people use their cars rather than take public transport.

Out of curiosity I looked at the traffic volume going into Dingle from the Inch Strand side of the peninsula for July this year and last year. There wasn’t much of a change. 500 cars a day passed there in 2020 while only an extra 100 cars made the journey in 2019. They’ll be happy about that in Dingle!

Categories
Ireland

Anyone for Takeaway Pints?

Along with what seemed like a large portion of the country I stayed in Dingle recently. The town was packed. We stayed in a B&B on the edge of town and every day around noon the road outside was a traffic jam of cars snaking through the town. Most people wore masks in the shops but of course there were a few rat lickers too.

I did notice that a lot of people had several empty pint glasses on their tables, and while they may have eaten a €9 meal there was no sign of food. I spotted a happy young couple cross the road with plastic glasses of beer and sit down by the statue of Fungi. It was upsetting given what’s happening with Covid-19.

Now we’re in lockdown again. It’s not the same lockdown we experienced from March onwards but people became lax, and the virus made it’s way into factories. Multiple outbreaks in meat processing plants locked down 3 counties last week. Yesterday the news nationally wasn’t good:

  • 1 death and 190 cases confirmed.
  • 76 are men and 111 are women
  • 75% are under 45 years of age
  • 75 are confirmed to be associated with outbreaks or are close contacts of a confirmed case
  • 14 cases have been identified as community transmission
  • 48 are in Kildare, 46 in Dublin, 38 in Tipperary, 20 in Limerick, 7 in Clare and the rest of the 31 cases are in Carlow, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.

And so the restrictions:

  • All outdoor events will be limited to 15 people, down from 200, under strict new limits on public gatherings agreed this afternoon.
  • Under the restrictions that will remain in place until 13 September at the earliest, indoor events will be limited to six people, reduced from 50, except for businesses such as shops and restaurants, which are subject to separate rules.
  • Weddings will be exempt from the new restrictions, meaning they can go ahead with 50 people.
  • The measures agreed by Cabinet will mean that matches and other sporting fixtures will have to take place behind closed doors.
  • Gardaí will be given new powers to enforce rules around social gatherings, particularly in restaurants or bars serving food, and in private homes.
  • Under the measures agreed by Cabinet, people will be advised to work from home and to avoid using public transport, unless absolutely necessary.

Which leads some to say the GAA should encourage weddings at their matches so 50 people can watch.

Still confused, here’s a clear explanation.

These graphs are not good are they?

Schools open soon. Hopefully we can reduce the community spread or we’ll be closing schools within a month.

Oh yes, watch out for Storm Ellen tonight. There’s a status red warning for Cork!

Categories
Linux

One of those rare bugs

I can’t login to my Raspberry PI3. When I ssh into it the password is rejected. When I plugged a keyboard and HDMI cable in the login would fail silently at first and then after reboot it would tell me the password was wrong.

Fearing the worst, that the small machine had been hacked, I plugged it out and attempted to go into single user mode but even that didn’t work. I tried various cmdline.txt changes, I saw an odd message saying:

sh: can't access tty; job control turned off

That wasn’t the worst. I even managed to generate a kernel panic once!

When I was just about ready to give up I plugged in the HDMI cable again and saw a strange libcrypt error show up.

/sbin/sulogin error while loading shared libraries: libcrypt.so.1: cannot open shared object file: no such file or directory

A quick search for that message brings me to the one thread on the Internet about it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have another Linux machine handy to copy libc6 from but I do have a backup of the SD card and that worked. I made a backup with Disk Utility (yes, don’t sneer, I can use dd too) and after making a new backup I restored the old backup with Etcher.

The last time I did an apt upgrade was just before a recent trip where I was depending on the RPI3 for my Plex music. Luckily the Plex server hadn’t restarted in that time and must have been using the old libc6!

Another tool that was useful here was ext4fuse which I installed through Homebrew. It’s even possible to mount an ext4 partition from an SD card image by first mounting the boot partition with Disk Utility, checking the device with df -h and then using the very next device number like this:

ext4fuse /dev/disk9s2 /Volumes/rpi -o allow_other

Read only access to the Raspberry PI/Linux part of the image! Strangely enough it doesn’t show in Finder but df shows it is mounted.

Now to make a new SD card backup before I update anything else with apt.

Categories
General

Why do you do it?

I might miss something that makes my blood boil or make me feel sad that the world is so messed up.

I’m better off giving this little guy a cuddle. 😍

Thanks Reddit.

Categories
WordPress

Crowdsignal Polls in your Block Editor

The Crowdsignal team at Automattic have been quietly working on a new poll block for the last few weeks. We finally made it public today on WordPress.org!

We set out with the task of creating a block that would allow the writer to quickly insert a poll in their posts using the block editor. More than that, it had to be simple to use. It also needed to be themed to match the look and feel of the website it would appear on.

We’ve created a block that does that. It also records the votes collected on the Crowdsignal website where you can analyse the results using reports Crowdsignal users have always used.

Search for “Crowdsignal Forms” on your plugins page to install it in the usual way.

A free Crowdsignal account is required to use the block. We made it really easy to connect your site to your Crowdsignal account. If you don’t have one then creating a new account is simple too.

The first 2,500 responses you collect are included in your free account, and further votes are recorded but free users are encouraged to upgrade if they want to do further analysis of all the data they collect.

Categories
WordPress.com

15 Years at WordPress.com


Yesterday I was notified that I registered on WordPress.com for the first time fifteen years ago. I wasn’t going to mention it but Matt blogged a screenshot of his notification so it piqued my interest and curiosity.

I decided to look up what WordPress.com looked like back then, and it was a very simple message. There was no way to sign up. Nothing to hint at what it would eventually become. It wasn’t until later in the month when a registration form was added.

I took a quick look at what I was blogging about in July 2005. Wow, I used to post a lot didn’t I? See how easy it is to dive back into history? Try do that with Twitter and Facebook!

On the 26th I did blog about WordPress.com inviting people to sign up. Four reactions only but Matt’s post has more comments on it.

I was concerned about the price of petrol in 2005. I paid €1.05/lt on July 27th and Tesco announced they were going to increase prices to €1.20/lt. It hasn’t been that price in the last decade but it did hit a low point during the recent lockdown. I’ve been tracking fuel prices since around 2010 so I should make a blog post about that sometime. One thing it does reveal is working from home saves fuel. We refill the car once every 2 weeks usually.

Categories
Games

The Bohemian Rhapsody Roller Coaster

Just last week I installed OpenRCT2 so I’m glad Youtube showed me this fabulous roller coaster synchronised with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody!

Categories
Health

5km From Home

From today people in Ireland (south of the border) can go up to 5km from home to exercise. The over 70s who have been cocooning at home are allowed out but warned to stay well away from anyone else.

How far is 5km? Go visit this site and allow it to use your location to find out!

On Friday it was announced the country would have five phases to go through towards opening up:

  • Phase 1: 18th May
  • Phase 2: 8th June
  • Phase 3: 29th June
  • Phase 4: 20th July
  • Phase 5: 10th August

Find a PDF of it here.

Meanwhile G O’D and her cronies are back in the High Court protesting the lockdown.

The Phoenix Park, a huge park in Dublin, had to be closed because of a protest against the lockdown.

I guess they’re not as bad as the Right in the USA. At least they don’t have access to weapons in Ireland.

There are plans to pedestrianise streets and make one-way footpaths in Cork.

Pub owners want to open sooner than August. How the hell will drunk people socially distance?

Normal People is causing quite a stir.

During the Irish Famine in the 1840s the Choctaw tribe in North America sent money to help feed starving people in Ireland.

The Navajo Nation is now looking for help and Irish people are putting their hands in their pockets and reaching out!

I was so sad to hear of the death of Sam Lloyd who you’ll recognise from Scrubs. 🙁
This baby will brighten your day!
Amazing Irish dancing by Morrghan! Puts any attempt I made in my teens to shame. 🙂

Do you remember the ILOVEYOU virus? I do and 20 years ago it infected 45 million computers and it originated somewhere surprising. Geoff White tells all!

Are you distracted? Of course you are. Me too. Go listen to the latest Distributed podcast. Matt interviews neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley and it is well worth a listen.

I went for a cycle the other night and for some reason Sophie Ellis Bextor’s “Stay At Home” was running through my brain the whole time. Probably the sight of Garda checkpoints. Good to see them.

Scott Berkun has released his new book in the middle of a pandemic!

We’re all locked down. Blarney Photography Club can’t meet any more but tonight we had a great presentation by Zoom. I thought it worked really well!

Categories
Books

The Smell of a new Book

I’ve been using my phone to read books for the last decade. Ever since the Grand Meetup in Seaside Florida actually. I decided I needed to buy an actual book I wanted to read on a device rather than “trying out” some of the free classic books I found online.

I still buy books in “dead tree format” sometimes and my last time in Vibes & Scribes I bought The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. That was some times ago and I still haven’t read it but I opened it this morning and ummm, that new book smell is powerful. I miss that.